Saturday, February 18, 2017

Adding This Step on Wash Day Could Mean Major Length Retention.

Cozy winter scarf + Jacket
My last wash day experience started off like normal.  It all began with a pre-poo using coconut oil. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. I waited way too long to wash and was a bit fearful about the possible consequences I'd have to face.

As I gently divided each section to apply the coconut oil, I was pleasantly surprised by how little breakage I was seeing. I hadn't done a protein treatment in a while but my hair was still doing A- OK. 

Everything seemed to be going exceptionally well. Even while I cleansed the shedding was minimal and there were no signs of excessive breakage.

I was in the clear......or so I thought.
After stepping out of the shower, I began the arduous process of applying conditioner section by section.   Recently, I recommitted to being diligent with my deep conditioning practices.  This meant that I'd reinstitute the strand ceremony process.

As I painstakingly applied conditioner, I noticed something quite alarming.  Suddenly, I could see tiny broken strands as I removed the shed hair.

What was happening?  Why is my hair breaking all of the sudden?

The answer is simple.  The combination of wet strands + manipulation + unconditioned hair = recipe for disaster.

Basically, I was employing heavy manipulation at the time when my hair is the weakest.  Earlier, during the pre-poo, I didn't experience much breakage because the strands weren't bloated with water.  As you may know, water molecules are notorious for lifting the cuticle layer (hence why we experience frizz in high humidity).  Our strands are slightly swollen after washing which leaves them highly vulnerable.

Suddenly I start to manhandle the hair while it's in fragile condition.  It makes sense why I was seeing broken strands seemingly out of nowhere.  I had to think fast.  The solution came after a couple of moments of reflection.  I needed to pre-condition my hair before actually conditioning it.

Stay with me here......

 I ran to my hair product storage area and grabbed the bottle of Grund ProDesign's Protein Leave-In.  I've written about the glory of this product in the past.  Basically, it strengthens my hair without ever leaving behind any protein related stiffness.   To me, it feels like a hydrating leave-in that also fortifies.

After grabbing the bottle, I sprayed a little to each section before applying conditioner.  It was like a miracle had taken place.  The breakage reduced dramatically and detangling was a breeze.  I also found myself having to use much less product on each section because my hair already felt pre-conditioned.

The pre-conditioning step is a must for me.  I rarely comb my hair during the week and the only time I ever experience excessive breakage is on wash day.  All that manipulation of wet hair is a deal breaker.  If I  systematically reduced wash day breakage, this could bring my retention to new levels. After reflecting, I came to the conclusion that pre-conditioning could actually enhance the deep conditioning process.  It's all about penetration and I'm pretty sure that a leave-in can better penetrate than my thick conditioners.  I might be conditioning the hair on 2 levels.  The leave-in penetrates, while the creamy conditioner coats the exterior.

  I plan on experimenting with variations of this process such as misting with leave-in and allowing it to sit on the hair for a few minutes before adding conditioner.  I should also mention that I still use a leave-in after rinsing conditioner prior to styling.  Basically, prior to any heavy manipulation, I pre-condition.  Yes, it's an extra step to an already long process, but this step is so powerful that I can't afford to skip it.


  1. Such a clever thing to do! I need to try pre-conditioning, basically addicted to coconut oil anyways! :)

    xx
    www.firmabeauty.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have you tried washing your hair in loose braids ? I've been doing it since I started my transitioning phase. Now that I'm natural I see less breakage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've tried that method and it's somewhat hit or miss for me. I think I need to wash in twists because sometimes my loose braids seem to "tighten" when wet and it's a challenge pulling them apart.

      Delete
  3. Would Aphogee keratin and green tea restructurizer also work?

    ReplyDelete

 
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